At least 10 people have been injured and dozens more evacuated after an explosion in a busy supermarket in St. Petersburg, Russian police say.
The explosion took place at the Perekrestok supermarket, which is located on the ground floor of the Gigant Hall leisure center.
“There was a bang. Emergency personnel are already on the scene. The evacuation has been completed, and there was no fire,” a local Emergencies Ministry official told Russia’s TASS news agency.
Medical rescue teams took four people to nearby hospitals to treat them for serious injuries, while up to six more victims were receiving treatment on the spot. Around 50 people were evacuated.
Security officials were treating the incident as a potential attempt at “mass homicide.” Local media said the explosion was estimated to be caused by 200g of TNT. Bomb-disposal teams were present at the scene.
According to Sputnik, the blast did not cause fire or any major damage to the building.
“At the moment the store is closed, buyers and staff have been evacuated. Special services are working at the scene. There is no more detailed information at the moment,” the press service of the retail chain told Sputnik.
Footage from the blast site showed heavy presence of police and rescue teams outside the mall.
The Russian Investigative Committee has launched a criminal investigation into the incident. Alexander Bastrykin, the committee’s head, was on his way to St. Petersburg to conduct further investigations.